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July 20, 2024

Tri-State Fire – Chief called off ambulance with no-one on scene – patient needed transported –

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On September 25, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
“When a government administrator has personal and business problems, the lack of attention to important details seems to increase resulting in poor judgment overall that can flow over into their important job of serving the public.
Below I revisit Chief Mancione of the Tri-State Fire Protection District who you may recall failed in his duty to redact protected medical information on FOIA responses, forgot or was unable to pay his property taxes on his house and has a number of federal tax and state liens on his business, Mancione Improvements. He also has in place a policy that is akin to a gag order preventing the firefighters from talking to their own district trustees without informing the Chief as to the nature of the discussion and who initiated the contact, as if that is any of his business. (Click here to review those articles)
Now we have found him giving orders in excess of his authority as a fire chief and as a state licensed Emergency Medical Technician. The attached audio file shows this in detail when he responded to a call on the night of April 22 of this year. The time breakdown of the call is from the audio as the dispatch report is inconsistent with the unit status reports.

At about 8 seconds in to the audio Tri-State unit 511 is dispatched to a local business for a “subject that fainted.” The dispatch report shows the call being dispatched at 9:19 pm.
At 1 minute 54 seconds dispatch acknowledges unit 511 going en-route and informs 511 that “Westmont will be your ambulance.” 511 asks to confirm the business name. At 2 minutes 21 seconds another voice comes on the air and tells 511 it is an Italian restaurant.
Other traffic on the band is heard after the dispatch.
At 4 minutes 21 seconds chief 500 comes up on the radio and asks dispatch if an ambulance is responding to the restaurant. Dispatch informs him that a Westmont ambulance is enroute. Chief 500 puts himself en-route to the call at 4 minutes 43 seconds.
At 4 minutes 49 seconds unit 526 puts itself en-route to the call.
At 5 minutes 5 seconds unit 506 tells dispatch to keep every unit going in there until someone gets on the scene.
At 5 minutes 40 seconds Westmont calls Tri-State dispatch over the air and tells them that the Westmont ambulance is not available.
At 6 minutes 0 seconds chief 500 calls Tri-State dispatch to confirm that the dispatcher heard that Westmont stated that they are not available with an ambulance.
At this point, and from the road, chief 500 tells dispatch to “hold the response to the first nontransport ALS (advances life support) and myself.” In other words he is holding off an ambulance to a medical emergency where there are no fire department personnel on the scene.
At 7 minutes 11 seconds chief 500 puts himself on the scene.
At 7 minutes 19 seconds unit 506 puts 506 and 536 (actually 526) on the scene.
At 7 minutes 40 seconds unit 526 tells dispatch that they are available on the scene. Dispatch responds and tells them to advise if they need an ambulance.
At 8 minutes 57 seconds unit 511 calls dispatch and advises them that an ambulance is needed to the scene and Argonne is the closest.
At 12 minutes 16 seconds the unit 511 driver is told to bring in the heart monitor.
At 15 minutes 28 seconds the Argonne ambulance goes enroute.
At 18 minutes 22 seconds the Argonne ambulance arrives on the scene. The dispatch record does not show what time the Argonne ambulance arrived on the scene. The Argonne ambulance transported the patient to the hospital.
I can’t think of one good reason to cancel an ambulance to an emergency medical call, especially when no one is on the scene yet and the patient was in need of a heart monitor as well as an ambulance.
Reading through the fire station journals showed that nothing out of the ordinary happened on the call. Not one journal showed that chief 500 showed up for an ambulance call after hours and called off an ambulance when one was needed. This includes the journal for the Acting BC 506. (BC= Battalion Chief).  I mention the after hours because it is not normal for a Fire Chief to micromanage an EMS call after hours.
The chief called off an ambulance before anyone arrived on the scene.  That put people’s lives at risk.  The whole goal of getting people responding is to save lives and minimize risk.  These actions are a contradiction of the primary purpose of EMS.  A Chief “should” know that.
The Chief is an Illinois licensed Emergency Medical Technician- Basic level.  Illinois has 4 levels of medical response recognized by IDPH.  First Responders (FR),  which are only able to provide basic first aid and CPR, EMT-Basic, which is a step above FR with limited medical protocols, EMT-Intermediate, which offer some of the key capabilities for life support, and then EMT-Paramedic, which is the top tier providers offering the community the most advanced capabilities in life support away from a hospital.
Every level mentioned above knows you never, yes I said never, call off an ambulance that has been called to the scene unless you have patient contact confirming no ambulance is needed or the patient themselves have let dispatch know they are not needed.
So a person who is not a paramedic calls off a paramedic ambulance from the road for a patient that needs the care of a paramedic and an ambulance. I’ll presume that you can see the problem with this.
What if he called off an ambulance for your loved one with tragic results?  I suspect he would be held accountable.  We hope that this call and his actions are given the attention that is required by the board of trustees and he is held to answer for what happened. Not good for him is the fact that there is no good answer and only inexcusable excuses for calling off an en-route ambulance without any patient contact to justify it.  As a Chief and EMT I can assure you we have terminated people for far less.
I suspect the applicable regional medical direction facility that oversees this operation would take great interest in knowing they have EMTs calling off medical assistance before anyone gets to the scene.  What he was thinking is beyond me, but we do welcome any justification he would like us to publish.
Our hope is that the patient arrived at the hospital with no negative effects of this inexcusable delay and that the trustees take a hard look at the definition of public service.
Department Journal entries:
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Dispatch logs:
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1 Comment
  • paulyg092
    Posted at 23:29h, 26 September Reply

    RT @NYCEMSwebsite: Fire Chief on route to EMS call cancels ambulance until he gets there
    Of course the patient needed to be transported

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